fitting family dental visits into a crazy schedule

Preparing Your Child For A First Dental Visit: 4 Tips For Success

by Andre Daniels

Scheduling your child's first dental cleaning can be a nerve-wracking process—not just for you, but for your child as well. A lot of children are inherently nervous or anxious about going to the dentist, but it's important for them to realize how vital regular dental cleanings and exams are for their health. By taking a few preparation steps, however, parents can make that first visit a stress-free one for all involved.

Bring Your Child in for a "Meet and Greet"

If this will be your child's first visit to the dentist's office, consider calling ahead of time and asking if you and your child can stop by sometime before the appointment date for a "meet and greet." Many pediatric and general dental offices are happy to offer this, as it provides an opportunity for your child to become more familiar with the office and meet the staff. It also gives the dental staff a chance to get to know your child before his or her appointment.

Let Your Child Tag Along for Your Exam

Another option to help your child feel more comfortable is to bring him or her with you to your next exam or cleaning. Children look up to their parents, and if they see you sitting relaxed in the dental chair, they'll see that getting their teeth cleaned is not something to be stressed out about. This can also help your child see first-hand what the experience is like, which can help them prepare for their own appointment.

Talk Through Your Child's Concerns

Never underestimate the power of good old-fashioned communication. Before the appointment, sit down with your child and ask how he or she is feeling. If they're nervous or scared, try to find out exactly why. Don't try to negate their concerns, but do make sure they feel heard and understand the importance of taking care of their teeth.

Check Out Children's Library Books

Finally, consider checking out some children's books on dental care and going to the dentist from your local library. This can be a great way for your child to learn more about what to expect from a cleaning in a way that's relatable and approachable.

By taking these steps before your child's first dental cleaning, you and your child will be well on your way to a stress-free appointment. From there, your child can begin to understand that the dentist's office isn't something to be afraid of! Contact a dental office like Neu Family Dental Center for more information.